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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book
I found this book revolutionary - I was aware of the general principle that mutations in the genome are more likely to push evolution backwards - but this book confirms what the evidence shows, that all living things are slowly dying - mutational overload is slowly making everything less able to survive, thus extinctions have been the order of the day throughout many...
Published on 25 April 2010 by R. J. Allen

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating, radical, challenging and rather dubious
It is great to pick-up a book on creation/evolution which offers real, understandable data rather than more hazy ideas and bitter argument from opposing worldviews. If you understand the basic concepts of evolutionary theory (multiplicity of random mutations, selection of the fittest phenotype) then you will understand the collosal problem that Sanford appears to...
Published on 2 Mar 2011 by Mr. T Holton


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book, 25 April 2010
By 
R. J. Allen (Gloucestershire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (Paperback)
I found this book revolutionary - I was aware of the general principle that mutations in the genome are more likely to push evolution backwards - but this book confirms what the evidence shows, that all living things are slowly dying - mutational overload is slowly making everything less able to survive, thus extinctions have been the order of the day throughout many generations. John Sandford draws on a lifetime of experience in genetics to expose the fraud of evolutionary dogma for what it is. This should be required reading for all those who are busy advancing the theory of evolution as the the ultimate explanation for all things!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars for the great majority of mutations, 27 Sep 2014
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Lloyd To (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (Paperback)
Evolution or Devolution?

This is a very informative and cogently argued book, supported by ample documentation. There is much discussion of population genetics. However, the author's concern is not with the mathematical models but rather the assumptions underpinning them. As an accomplished experimental geneticist, John Sanford is well qualified to evaluate these assumptions.

The text is semi-technical, and readers with no background in genetics will find it heavy going, especially as some of the technical terms are omitted from the glossary.

The book's main thrust is the net long term degradation of the genome. The author likens random errors in DNA replication to typing errors in copying a document. Such random changes do not produce a more highly organised text, i.e. one that conveys the information more effectively or even adds additional meaningful information. Likewise, mutations due to copying error and environmental damage (radiation or toxins) degrade the DNA text.

Moreover, most DNA sequences are poly-functional. For example, most human coding sequences encode for two different RNAs that read in opposite directions. Some sequences encode for different proteins, depending on where translation is initiated. Some encode for different proteins based on alternate splicing. This poly-functional nature of DNA powerfully reinforces the above argument that random changes will result in degradation of the code.

The threat posed by mutations had been recognised long before "Genetic Entropy" was published. Tens of thousands of diseases caused by mutations have been catalogued, while it is hard to find any uncompromisingly beneficial mutations. The author acknowledges the existence of some beneficial mutations, but argues, both conceptually and from experimental data, including his own research in plant breeding, that they are extremely rare.

The vast majority of mutations are "near neutral", i.e. each has an imperceptible effect on the organism. They are therefore opaque to natural selection. The resulting accumulation of such mutations in the population (the genetic load) leads to cumulative degeneration of the genome.

The selection model is, for the great majority of mutations, plagued by the problem of "noise". For example, since selection occurs at the level of the organism, not the gene, factors such as linkage blocks (large blocks of genes that are selected together, not individually) mask the effect of individual genes. This problem is compounded by epistasis, i.e. the effect of an individual gene is influenced by many other genes. Moreover, since the vast majority of mutations have only a small effect on survival, the role of chance - selection of the luckiest - plays a large part, as does random genetic drift. Noise occurs at much higher levels than is normally acknowledged by population geneticists, and is only partially diminished in large populations. (For a more detailed treatment of the interference of chance on natural selection, see chapter 3 of the excellent book "Not By Chance" by Lee Spetner, 1997.)

Sanford documents the relatively recent findings that overall mutation rates, specifically in humans, are very much higher than previously recognised. Yet uncompromisingly beneficial mutations are extremely rare. For natural selection to work requires a far higher ratio of beneficial to deleterious mutations.

The book is open to minor criticisms. For example, the regression curve of the post-Flood decline of human life span (Fig 14, p155) includes Jesus Christ as its last data point. This is obviously invalid, since Christ died prematurely by execution. This is an unfortunate oversight. On the other hand, replacement of that single invalid point with a valid one (or removing it altogether) does not materially alter the curve, or weaken the argument it is used to support. I also feel that a more restrained style of presentation would be preferable, and would actually make the case more compelling.

There is far more to the book than can be covered in this brief review. The book deserves careful study. For this reason a far more comprehensive index is highly desirable. A set of Appendices elaborate on some of the points raised in the main text, and answers some major criticisms.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant work, 3 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (Paperback)
This is an exceptional work. Fairly easy to follow for most people, although it can get a little technical at times. Anyone with a college level (or higher) standard of education will be able to follow without much difficulty. A very worthwhile contribution to the origins debate, written by a scientist with first class credentials.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life shoes design, 14 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (Paperback)
This is a very actual book on the issue of evolution. The author gives tough scientific arguments that life on earth cannot be there by incidence. Very actual questions are discussed in a balanced and professional way. I am impressed! A very helpful book for those who have not yet made up their mind on the question: How did the human genome develop?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must read, 23 Jun 2014
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K. B. Betts - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (Paperback)
Excellent! Like the author I have never understood the slavish acceptance of the theory of evolution when any real investigation reveals just how incongruous it is. How often people miss that it is merely someone's theory
Serious investigation quickly reveals the idea of mutation leading to overall improvement of the genome as fallacy.
The stubborn clinging to theory dressed as fact requires a level of blind faith far beyond that which adherents repeatedly accuse Christian believers of holding. Careers have been built on these absurdities and they have become fiercely defended as an orthodoxy has been put in place around them. Many seem to think that this orthodoxy is unassailable. Not so.
I challenge anyone with a serious interest to buy and read this. It should be a best seller and on everyone's reading list.
C.B.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kills Darwinism stone dead, 6 Mar 2014
By 
Mr. Christopher L. Stradling (Wirral, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (Paperback)
This book strikes at the heart of Darwin's theory of evolution. Darwin's theory (in its modern form) depends on the accumulation of beneficial mutations and the elimination of harmful mutations by natural selection. This, says the theory, has slowly built up genetic complexity and turned bacteria into humans over many millions of years.

John Sanford destroys this in one stroke by focusing on Genetic Entropy. This is the accumulation of errors as the offspring's DNA is created from its parents' sex cells (sperm and egg). The errors occur as these sex cells are created from their respective zygotes via cell division. The cellular mechanism that performs the division is complex and elegant and duplicates with a high degree of fidelity. Nevertheless, errors occur and have been quantified. For humans, there are about 400 cell divisions from male zygote to sperm and about 30 divisions from female zygote to egg. The net accumulation of genetic errors from parents to new child is a few hundred DNA base pairs per generation.

John Sanford has concentrated on the nature of these accumulated mutations. He shows that the probability of a beneficial mutational is extremely small. Harmful mutations (e.g. the ones causing Down's Syndrome) are far more likely. However, the great majority of mutations are harmless in terms of the overall fitness of the individual. This is because we have two copies of most genes, so if one is damaged the other takes over. This means the majority of mutations are selectively either very nearly or actually neutral, because selection is on the phenome (outward characteristics of the whole person/animal) and not the genome (makeup of its DNA). This 'genetic load' of mutations must increase from generation to generation. Nothing can stop it. So even if beneficial mutations were to occur, they would be swamped by the unstoppable accumulation of selectively almost-transparent mutations which silently degrade the DNA as they unavoidably spread throughout the population by genetic drift. Eventually the degradation will seriously affect the fitness of the organism. But by that time the errors are ingrained in the population and there is no mechanism to unpick them. And evolutionists themselves have calculated that human DNA is degrading at a rate that is incompatible with accepted evolutionary timescales. As one of them put it: 'We should be dead a hundred times over'.

All this is explained with illustrations and graphs. It is not difficult to follow. Some of the technical arguments are a little more challenging but they have been put in the appendices.

This book is essential reading for anyone wishing to explore the scientific objections to Darwinism.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book to rock the foundations of evolution, 10 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (Paperback)
John C Sanford carries so much weight having researched his topic for so many years. Not too complicated for average reading yet deep enough to answer higher criticism. A must have to those who want positive scientific reason to believe in creation by an Almighty God.
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5.0 out of 5 stars quite technical, 10 Oct 2013
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Although this book turned out to be too technical for me, I was able to understand a good bit of it and appreciate the overall premise of the book.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating, radical, challenging and rather dubious, 2 Mar 2011
By 
Mr. T Holton "Tim" (Warwickshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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It is great to pick-up a book on creation/evolution which offers real, understandable data rather than more hazy ideas and bitter argument from opposing worldviews. If you understand the basic concepts of evolutionary theory (multiplicity of random mutations, selection of the fittest phenotype) then you will understand the collosal problem that Sanford appears to present.

Just to be clear, the author is a young-earth Creationist (which for some worldviews will immediately discredit him, unfortunately). But he has a great big argument which, when you think about it, has been staring evolutionism in the face for donkey's years. However, if you think that Sanford's ideas are true then you can only account for its lack of impact in the world of genetics by assuming there is a huge anti-creationist (anti-Christian?) conspiracy within the global scientific community - a conspiracy in which even Christian geneticists are colluding. Personally I struggle to accept that thought.

There is an excellent response to this book by a clever evangelical Christian in 'letterstocreationists' on the web, and a good summary of that is written by augustinerocks on amazon.com (i.e. U.S. amazon) in the book reviews. There is a good dialogue in the comments on augustinerocks' review too which, if you have the time, gets into the theology as well as the science.

It is hard work to get your head around this stuff but the last thing you should do is accept wrong ideas just because they appear to fit with your current understanding of the world. In fact Christians need to wrestle with the facts as we understand them, wrestle with the scripture as we understand that, and seek the Lord in everything.

Billy Graham said, "I don't think that there's any conflict at all between science today and the scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we've tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren't meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. ... whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man's relationship to God." Billy Graham: Personal Thoughts of a Public Man, 1997. p. 72-74
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Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome
Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome by John C. Sanford (Paperback - 1 Mar 2008)
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